Monday, September 20, 2010

The (mis)Adventure Part 1: Oregon; or, How I Didn't Die of Dysentery on the Oregon Trail

I am home. And I survived, despite the actions of that darned Higher Being who is out to get me.

Have to wonder what I did to deserve that.

We left off last entry with the smashed toe. It was still hurting the next day, Labor Day, when I left for my trip, and by the time I'd been on the road several hours (and made it to Crater Lake), had turned a lovely shade of blackened-blue.

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That picture isn't even the most colorful it got. Another 24 hours gave it even a wider palette of hue, but by then I was too busy with Not Dying of Dysentery on the Oregon Trail to take a picture.

(It wasn't really dysentery, but I did end up getting that stomach flu from my nephew. I made it all the way to Portland, and promptly threw up upon arriving at Steph's place. She must really love me.
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Then again, maybe not so much.)

The drive up was beautiful, at least, and before my abdomen started feeling queasy, I spent some time at Crater Lake taking a bunch of pictures:

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Basically reestablishing that Crater Lake is the most beautiful place in Creation.

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There was a forest fire burning up the woods to the north of the Lake. Fortunately, not near enough to the route I had to take that it would delay my drive to Portland.

The roads to and from Crater Lake are beautiful, but the northern route — taking OR-138 through the Umpqua National Forest — feels like a drive into forever. Beautiful forever, to be sure, but forever. I didn't get a chance to take pictures (I was on a mission to get to Portland before it got too late), but if you do it, I highly recommend taking the time to meander through, and maybe spend the night at some lodge along the way.

At any rate. I didn't realize that all this time my body was busy incubating the most horrible 24-hour virus known to Sarahkind; the effects didn't start to be felt until about an hour outside of Milwaukie, where my friend lives, though I guess I should be thankful that everything stayed in until I actually got to a toilet. To be crude: I spent about 18 hours purging my digestive tract of every foreign substance. From both ends. (Fortunately not at the same time.) To be even cruder: by hour 12 or so, when there wasn't much of substance left to eject, it started to have the color and texture of baby poop.

Steph spent a lot of time laughing at the sounds I was making. I had to laugh, too, between the crying and the cursing of that Higher Being.

It took a few days to fully recover (my appetite), but I did manage to venture out for decent food, wandering around the Hawthorne area and, of course, a required pilgrimage to Powell's Books. Sadly another pictureless adventure, but it was also a short trip, since I think Steph got a little bored by hour two, whereas I could have probably lasted until closing the next day. I made it out with a paper-bagful of books, and a total cost to me of about $34 (thanks to Lauren for the $30 gift certificate he gave me last year!).

Most of the time with Steph was necessarily laid-back. My stomach couldn't take much food or drink, and I tired easily what with still recuperating. We did do one Big Night Out(tm) to Pok Pok and had a drink at the Gold Dust Meridian, and I was very pleased with myself for actually being able to enjoy the entire thing.

And I think that's it for now. Next time I'll cover the Washington portion of my trip, which involved less bodily suffering, and more dangerous close encounters. Stay tuned.

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